‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

Armoured Car Hit and Abandoned by Crew .

A heavily armoured car was put out of action and badly damaged after a land-mine exploded at Cassidy’s Cross near Kinawley in County Fermanagh, following an ambush by guerrillas on December 1 , 1957 . A second armoured car sped on when the explosion occured .

The RUC issued a false statement claiming that a ‘Land Rover’ had escaped damage : a ‘Land Rover’ did appear on the scene , but it was after the armoured vehicle had been towed away and photographers were told that was the car hit by the land-mine ! Pictures appeared in the media showing the ‘Land Rover’ as Stormont attempted to minimise the damage caused .

The ambushers hit the second armoured car in the two-car patrol as it crossed over a culvert . The leading vehicle paused long enough to take the injured occupants to safety – the IRA guerrillas did not fire on them as they were removed from the armoured vehicle . The injured RUC men are believed to have been taken to Enniskillen Hospital: the RUC did not attempt to engage their attackers , being distracted as they were by the huge crater which the explosion blew in the roadway…….

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From ‘Gralton’ magazine, August/September 1983.
Gene Kerrigan.

The ‘X-Every-Five-Years’ cliche was finally killed-off by ‘The Great Capitalist Plot Against Socialist Cliches of 1981/1982’ , which involved staging three general elections within eighteen months . The other reason for the decline of the cliche was the greater readiness of the Left to intervene in elections : no count centre was complete without the comrade with the calculator

” Okay …. ,” the comrade would say , “…here’s the way I see it . If 93% of the Fine Gaeler’s surplus goes to the Labour guy , and if we get 34 votes from his surplus – which puts us above Sean Sugarloaf Mountain O’ Looney (Ind) so that he gets eliminated first – and then if the Labour guy is elected next and we get 97% of his surplus , then we’ll come within 800 votes of saving our deposit…”

The purpose of this article is not to revive the should we/shouldn’t we argument about electoral politics . Most of us long ago answered that one – ” It depends.” But it is worthwhile , for the benefit of the comrades with the calculators , drawing a map of the electoral territory in which they are operating , and pointing out the hostility of the natives…….


From ‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine, ‘Election Special’ , 1987.

Politics isn’t just about winning elections and holding onto power , it is also about a country’s sense of self . We expect our leaders to reflect us as well as represent us . We are an interesting and enigmatic people and we deserve a similar kind of leader and they don’t come any more interesting and enigmatic (‘1169…’ Comment – try ‘devious’ and ‘arrogant’..) than Charles J. Haughey .

Frightening , too , maybe . But the relationship of a people to its leader should , like a love affair , have an element of risk , of danger , to it . This has been missing for a long time . We have no choice : let us embrace our destiny .

[END of ‘What Rough Beast Is This , It’s Hour Come Round At Last?’]
(Next : ‘Crisis – Which Crisis?’ : from 1987)

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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